The following company announcements were made at the 2009 World Conference on Lung Cancer in San Francisco.
• DxS has teamed with AstraZeneca to make its TheraScreen diagnostic test available in Europe for use with Iressa (gefitinib). The TheraScreen EGFR29 Mutation Kit can be used to test a patient’s eligibility for treatment with Iressa. Earlier in July, AstraZeneca received approval in the EU to market Iressa for the treatment of adults with locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer with activating mutations of EGFR-TK.
• ImmunoGen reported that in two ongoing clinical trials, its compound IMGN901 shrank small-cell lung cancer tumors and fought CD56-expressing solid tumors. Out of 68 patients treated to date, 15 sustained stable disease with an estimated time-to-progression ranging from 77 to 168 days.
• Boehringer Ingelheim announced the initiation of a phase III study of BIBW 2992 as first-line treatment in patients with EGFR mutations. Preliminary data from the phase II trial show a response in nearly two-thirds of patients (63%) and a disease control rate of 97% in 38 patients.
• Merck KGaA compared the efficacy and safety of three different dose regimens of cilengitide versus docetaxel (Taxotere). Cilengitide monotherapy at the highest dose of 600 mg/m2 showed overall survival of six months vs 6.4 months for docetaxel and one-year survival rate of 29% vs 27% for docetaxel.
• The GlaxoSmithKline MAGRIT trial (Melanoma Antigen-A3 as Adjuvant Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Immunotherapy) has screened more than 3,000 patients. MAGRIT is a phase III study investigating the efficacy of the drug in preventing cancer relapse. Preliminary data support previously reported MAGE-A3 tumor expression rates (about 35%), validating MAGE-A3 as a patient-selective tumor-specific target.
• Endocyte is currently conducting three separate phase II trials for EC145 and EC20, a molecular imaging agent, for the treatment of NSCLC.